From the Reno Gazette-Journal:
Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, locked in a tight campaign with Democrat Shelley Berkley, toured three Sparks businesses Wednesday to help him gauge the strength of the Northern Nevada economy.
The message Heller received from the businesses – Western Nevada Supply, Dynamic Diesel and ITS Logistics – was that business is getting a little better.
“I told him (Heller) that we have a saying around here, that we refuse to participate in the recession,” said Malinda Campbell, who along with her husband Kevin, owns Dynamic Diesel. “So with dedication, hard work and doing what we say we’re going to do, we have survived and we are doing OK. We have seen a little bit of a pickup, but it is not enough.”
She even had a job offer.
“I would love to find another qualified diesel mechanic,” Campbell said. “So for any of your readers, a qualified journeyman mechanic can have a job here just like that.”
The news at ITS Logistics was even better.
“(The year) 2010 was the worst year,” Daniel Allen, an ITS executive, told Heller. “Last year was a good year. We were real busy last year and this year we are pretty optimistic. Already this quarter, this is the best first quarter we’ve had in our business.”
Heller felt more confident in the strength of the economy after listening to the business owners and workers in Sparks’ industrial area.
“I listen to government and everybody is painting a rosy picture,” Heller said. “But if businesses are telling me things are picking up, then I have confidence in the direction of the economy.”
A stark statistic dims Heller’s optimism.
“We still have 12.3 percent unemployment in Nevada today,” Heller said. “It is improving, but it is not good enough. It’s not even close to being good enough.”